Going to wedding without the right garment

Jan Luyken: the man without a wedding garment, Bowyer Bible.

He said to him, Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Matthew 22:12.

This parable relates how a king prepared the marriage feast for his son. When everything was ready, he summoned the guests who had been invited. They were surely all honourable people. But none of them accepted the invitation. Everyone was so taken up with his own business and interests that the king’s invitation wasn’t important enough. The king then sent for ordinary people from the highways to celebrate the marriage of his son.

But when he entered the banqueting hall, he discovered a man who was not wearing the wedding garment provided. We do not read the reason why he was not wearing it, but simply the fact. When the king confronted him with this breach of protocol, he could not justify himself. “He was speechless.”

How many people have proclaimed loudly what they intend to say when they appear before God! Some plan to call Him to account for all the misery in the world caused by man’s wars. Others accuse Him of causing the many natural catastrophes or even the illness of their loved ones. This is what they expect to say at this present moment!

What they overlook is that God will then be calling us to account, not vice-versa! When we appear before the judgment seat of Christ, what our deeds here on earth were really worth will then be revealed. All that will count is whether we are wearing “the garment of salvation” (Isaiah 61:10), i.e. whether we have taken refuge in Christ and His atoning sacrifice or not. Whoever imagines he can fall back on his own deeds will be “speechless”, like the man in the parable.

Image: By Phillip Medhurst – Photo by Harry Kossuth, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7550860